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CHILE, SOUTH AMERICA - TRAVEL & LODGING GUIDE
HOTELS, CABIN LODGES & ACCOMMODATION ON EASTER ISLAND

Traditional Carved Moai at Ahu Tongariki, Ahu Tongariki, Valparaiso, Chile
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CHILE TRAVEL GUIDE:
Featured Hotels & Resorts on Easter Island
Moai on Side of Volcano, Easter Island, Valparaiso, Chile
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Travel Guide to Chile:

5 Fun Facts to Know About Chile
A Hiking Guide to Easter Island
Chile: Land of Poets
Chile Travel: Visiting the Lake District from Puerto Varas
Chile Travel Destinations & Places To Visit in Chile
Concepcion Guide
Discover the beauty of San Pedro de Atacama
History and Growth of Santiago de Chile
History of Chile
Sightseeing in Punta Arenas - Chile
Revealing the Valleys of Chile
Swept Away In Santiago De Chile
The Mythology of Easter Island
Travel to Valparaiso, Chile

A Hiking Guide to Easter Island   by David Stanley

Featured Easter Island Hotels

Ask me which Pacific island has the most to offer hikers and I'll probably answer Easter Island. Here on an island 11 km wide and 23 km long you'll find nearly a thousand ancient Polynesian statues strewn along a powerfully beautiful coastline or littering the slopes of an extinct volcano.
The legends of Easter Island have been recounted many times. What's less known is that the island's assorted wonders are easily accessible on foot from the comfort of the only settlement, Hanga Roa. Before setting out see the sights, however, visit the excellent archaeological museum next to Ahu Tahai on the north side of town (the term "ahu" refers to an ancient stone platform). Aside from the exhibits, the museum has maps which can help you plan your trip. On online map is available at http://www.mapsouthpacific.com/easter_island/

The first morning after arrival, I suggest you climb Easter Island's most spectacular volcano, Rano Kau, where Orongo, a major archaeological site, sits on the crater's rim. But rather than marching straight up the main road to the crater, look for the unmarked shortcut trail off a driveway to the right just past the forestry station south of town. 

Statues at Ahu Akivi on Easter Island, Chile, Pacific
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It takes under two hours to cover the six km from Hanga Roa to Orongo, but bring along a picnic lunch and make a day of it. (If climbing a 316-meter hill sounds daunting, you can take a taxi to the summit for around US$6 and easily walk back later in the day.) 
Easter Island, Chile
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Once on top, you'll find hiking down into the colourful crater presents no difficulty. It may also look easy to go right around the crater rim, but only do so if you're a very experienced hiker and have a companion along as sheer 250-meter cliffs drop into the sea from the ridge.

Another day, rise early and take a taxi to lovely Anakena Beach at the end of the paved road on the north side of the island (you should pay under US$10 for the 20 km). A few of the famous Easter Island statues have been restored at Anakena and you could go for a swim, although the main reason you've come is the chance to trek back to Hanga Roa around the road-free northwest corner of the island. 

You'll pass numerous abandoned statues lying facedown where they fell, and the only living creatures you're unlikely to encounter are the small brown hawks which will watch you intently from perches on nearby rocks. If you keep moving, you'll arrive back in town in five or six hours (but take adequate food, water, and sunscreen). This is probably the finest coastal walk in the South Pacific.


Almost as good is the hike along the south coast, although you're bound to run into other tourists here as a paved highway follows the shore. Begin early and catch a taxi to Rano Raraku, the stone quarry where all of the island's statues were born. This is easily the island's most spectacular sight with 397 statues in various stages of completion lying scattered around the crater. And each day large tour groups come to Rano Raraku to sightsee and have lunch. However, if you arrive before 9 am, you'll have the site to yourself for a few hours. When you see the first tour buses headed your way, hike down to Ahu Tongariki on the coast, where 15 massive statues were reerected in 1994. From here, just start walking back toward Hanga Roa (20 km) along the south coast. You'll pass many fallen statues and enjoy some superb scenery. Whenever you get tired, simply go up onto the highway and stick out your thumb and you'll be back in town in a jiffy.

An outstanding 13-km walk begins at the museum and follows the west coast five km north to Ahu Tepeu.
As elsewhere, keep your eyes pealed for banana trees growing out of the barren rocks as these often indicate caves you can explore. Inland from Ahu Tepeu is one of the island's most photographed sites, Ahu Akivi, with seven statues restored in 1960. From here an interior farm road runs straight back to town (study the maps at the museum carefully, as you'll go far out of your way if you choose the wrong road here).

A shorter hike takes you up Puna Pau, a smaller crater which provided stone for the red topknots that originally crowned the island's statues. There's a great view of Hanga Roa from the three crosses on an adjacent hill and you can easily do it all in half a day. A different walk takes you right around the 3,353-meter airport runway, which crosses the island just south of town. 

Moais, Cantera Rano Raraku, Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Chile, South America
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Near the east end of the runway is Ahu Vinapu with perfectly fitted monolithic stonework bearing an uncanny resemblance to similar constructions in Peru.

Easter Island's moderate climate and scant vegetation make for easy cross country hiking, and you won't find yourself blocked by fences and private property signs very often. You could also tour the island by mountain bike, available from several locations at US$10 a day. If you surf or scuba dive, there are many opportunities here. A minimum of five days are needed to see the main sights of Easter Island, and two weeks would be far better. The variety of things to see and do will surprise you, and you'll be blessed with some unforgettable memories.

Hotels on Easter Island

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About the Author: David Stanley is the author of Moon Handbooks South Pacific which has a chapter on Easter Island. Stanley's guide to Easter Island and Easter Island travel photos may be perused online.

The Mythology of Easter Island   by Daniel Collins

Hotels on Easter Island

Mention Easter Island and most people immediately think of the enigmatic giant stone faces placed along the coastline that stare stoically, either out to sea or inland at the inhabitants. 
15 Moais, Ahu Tongariki, Easter Island, Chile
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Being part of the Polynesian triangle in the Pacific there are many myths and legends attached to this remote and mysterious island, with many of the 'facts' being barely indistinguishable from fanciful conjecture.

However, what is indisputable is that the island has witnessed trauma and tribulation in almost equal measures over the last few centuries; including overcoming the threat of human extinction more than once. The local population have survived epidemics, famines, civil wars, slavery, hostile occupation and the near-collapse of their ecosystem, but are now thriving by promoting their incredible heritage and history to inquisitive visitors from all over the world.


In addition, the natural beauty of the island also provides stunning white sand beaches suitable for snorkelling and scuba diving, fishing and even surfing. An incredible caves network near Ana Kakenga - that was naturally created through the volcanic rock from which the island is derived - proves a big draw for many visitors. 

There are also opportunities to partake in horseback riding or bicycling, and to visit plenty of local crafts shops selling fantastic wood carvings.

Undeniably, the big attraction for most visitors to Easter Island is the giant heads - the vast majority of these remarkable monoliths are carved from compacted volcanic ash. Known as moai, they are dotted all over Easter Island and are actually enlarged heads attached to tiny torsos, with the latter regularly buried leaving only the face visible. Almost all the 887 moai were toppled during tribal wars in the 18th and 19th centuries and it wasn't until the 1950s that a concerted effort to stand them upright began, following extensive excavations by explorer Thor Heyerdahl.
There is much to see relating to the moai, starting with the quarry where they were all extracted and carved at Rano Raraku. Here is clear evidence of the tools used to carve the heads - simple stone chisels - and also a vast number of moai that never left the quarry. In fact, only one quarter of those carved ever made it to installation and it is estimated that it took six men a year to carve each monument.

Discovered and named on Easter Sunday 1722 - by Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen - Easter Island is a territory of Chile, even though it is situated some 2,300 miles west of South America. The most remote inhabited island in the world measuring a mere 15 by 10 miles, its nearest neighbour - a mere 1,260 miles away - is the even smaller inhabited island of Pitcairn. And because it is so remote, there is no other viable option but to take flights to Easter Island if you wish to visit this remarkable island.

And, if you do wish to travel to Easter Island then make sure that you allow enough time to see everything, as despite its small size the island is literally stuffed with attractions.

Moai on Side of Volcano, Easter Island, Valparaiso, Chile
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Hotels on Easter Island

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About the Author: Daniel Collins writes on a number of topics on behalf of a digital marketing agency and a variety of clients. As such, this article is to be considered a professional piece with business interests in mind.

RECOMMENDED HOTELS, LODGES & CABIN RESORTS ON EASTER ISLAND, CHILE

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Cabañas Rapa Nui Orito, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
Easter Island, called by its inhabitants Rapa Nui or Te Pito Te Henua, is the most remote inhabited island in the world. Cabañas Rapa Nui Orito is located in Hanga Roa, close to Ahu Vai Uri, Ahu Kote Riku, and Museo Antropologico Sebastian Englert. Nearby points of interest also include Puna Pau and Ranu Kau. The property has a complimentary airport shuttle (available on request). Cabañas Rapa Nui Orito features tour/ticket assistance, laundry facilities, and self parking. The lodge serves a complimentary continental breakfast.
Cabanas Tautira, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
From our cabins located one block from the main avenue of Hanga Roa, you can go walking to lunch or dinner at various restaurants or pubs, or enjoy some delicious icecream relaxed, next to the wonderful environment. In the evening, a few steps, you can get closer to the beaches of the Caleta de Pescadores and Pea, or at Ceremonial Center Ancestral Tahai to contemplate the sunset with the Moais and the sea. At night, the pubs and restaurants are a good place to eat and enjoy Polynesian music live, or attend some artistic show, also very close to our cabins.
Cabanas y Hotel Tea Nui, Hanga Roa, Easter Island
Hotel and Cabins Tea Nui takes care of all your requirements and needs while showing you the charms of Easter Island, thus making of your trip a fascinating, authentic and unforgettable memory. Fully-equipped cabins, comfortable executive rooms, and a wide range of excursions and activities await you in Rapa Nui. For guests looking for a full, executive service, we have recently opened comfortable rooms: singles, doubles, and suites. We also invite you to see our 100 m2, cozy rustic cabins, located in down town Hanga Roa.
Explora Rapa Nui Hotel Posada de Mike Rapu, Hanga Roa
Our lodge was the first in South America to obtain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council. Our lodge, which opened in December 2007, was built on 9.6 hectares (23.7 acres) of land situated on a hill in the Te Miro Oone area, overlooking the ocean. This is in south-eastern Rapa Nui, 8 kilometers (4.9 miles) from Hanga Roa, the most populated part of the island. All of the 30 rooms, which extend to the north and south from a central building, have excellent ocean views. The lodge has welcoming indoor spaces which integrate aspects of the local culture.
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